Comox Valley freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe will be defending her Olympic title next month at the Beijing Games, while younger brother Darcy will be vying for a medal in snowboarding.
Cassie, 29, who won the women’s ski halfpipe gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea, was named Monday to the Canadian halfpipe team. Last week, 25-year-old Darcy was named to the slopestyle/big air team for snowboarding.
“We were so lucky and blessed to experience the first one (Winter Olympics) with Cassie being there,” said Don Sharpe, their father. “Now to have both of them there, it’s pretty amazing for us (wife Chantal and I) to be able to experience that as parents. It’s unfortunate that we can’t attend. We would have been there in a heartbeat.”
The Comox-raised siblings, who grew up on Mount Washington, have both come back from serious injuries. Cassie suffered a pair of knee injuries and a fractured femur in a fall at the Winter X Games last January, while Darcy tore his ACL in a competition last fall.
“They both had full surgeries on their left knees,” Don said.
But injuries don’t keep the Sharpe siblings down for long. For instance, at a 2016 X Games event in Norway, Cassie wore a back brace to ‘hold everything together,’ as stated on the Team Canada website, but still won a gold medal. On another occasion, she broke a thumb while attempting a new trick during qualifying, but taped it up and won the final.
In Darcy’s case, the ACL injury sidelined him for much of the season, but he rose to the occasion at the final three World Cup events to make the Olympic team.
Campbell River’s Teal Harle, another Mount Washington alumnus, was also named to the slopestyle/big air ski team. This will be his second trip to a Winter Olympics. He placed fifth in men’s slopestyle skiing in 2018.
Freestyle Canada selected athletes based on their performances during the past two seasons. Priority was given to those who won multiple medals at targeted events.
Freestyle ski events run Feb. 3-19 in Beijing. Snowboarding is slated for Feb. 5-15.